Does Thistle Seed Grow Weeds

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Does Thistle Seed Grow Weeds A Fast-Spreading, Difficult-to-Control Perennial Plant with Prickly Leaves Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur posuere, velit at What Kind of Birdseed Won’t Make Grass Grow?. Watching the antics of birds hopping on feeders and battling over seed is one of the many reasons to feed wild birds. Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong seed or don’t follow good feeding habits, you can end up with a mess of weeds around your feeders. Birds … Can Birdseed Start Weeds in Your Yard?. If you’re inviting flocks of birds to visit your yard by enticing them with birdseed, you may also be inviting weeds. When seed falls from the feeder to the ground there is potential for germination. This is not a problem with all types of bird food. By being a conscientious …

Does Thistle Seed Grow Weeds

A Fast-Spreading, Difficult-to-Control Perennial Plant with Prickly Leaves

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What Are Thistles?

The term Thistle is used for a variety of wildflowers and weeds, mostly part of the sunflower family. Generally, Thistle leaves have sharp prickles along the edges of their leaves and along their stems to act as a defense against grazing wildlife. All varieties produce flowers, usually purple or yellow, and spread through seed. In the Fall, the flowers frequently produce puffy, white fluff attached to the seeds to ride the wind and spread seeds farther. Some varieties do also spread through rhizomes. All varieties have deep roots, often taproots, that can grow multiple feet underground. The plant itself can grow up to six feet tall. Thistles are found in nearly all eastern States in the U.S, as well as Quebec to Manitoba in Canada.

In Ohio and Indiana, Thistles can be fast-spreading and difficult to control weed. While birds and butterflies may like it, people walking barefoot through a lawn generally find its prickly leaves to be painful.

What Causes Thistles?

Thistles thrive in dry soil without a lot of nutrients in full sun. They tend to grow in the least tended part of properties and especially in fields and prairies.

How Can I Get Rid Of Thistles?

We recommend being diligent about removing the weed, by plucking it as frequently as you find it. Use heavy gloves and pull the weed at the base of the stem. If you are pulling weeds right after a rain, Thistles will be easy to eradicate. We also recommend Weed Out , a weed pulling tool that can be very helpful during drier weather. You might even try filling the hole left behind with Burnout , an organic weed and grass killer, to try to kill the root a little more effectively. If this weed has really taken hold in your property, a spot chemical weed control spray in the Fall or Spring will work best. We’ve also had good results directly injecting an organic weed killer into Thistles with a syringe . While this method is a bit unorthodox, and maybe a bit more time-intensive, it really gets the job done!

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How Can I Prevent Thistles?

The most common variety of Thistle we see is Canada Thistle. Canada Thistle has a deep and extensive root system that is difficult to eliminate. Your best bet for preventing Canada Thistle is to continually remove or treat what you see to prevent it from getting energy from the sun and spreading by seed. In addition, feed your soil and grass to keep it healthy and competitive with the Thistle! We strongly advocate for mowing high every time, three to four inches, so that your grass will grow deeper roots. Only give your grass an inch of water per week and only water once a week. We recommend Good Nature Earth Turf Spring , our natural fertilizer, which will help achieve lawn thickness. Our general Ohio and Indiana recommendation for lawn grass is a mix of 5% Microclover, 90% Turf Type Tall Fescue, and 5% Kentucky Bluegrass for our region of the United States. We sell a premade mix: our Tuff Turf Lawn Seed provides the Turf Type Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass and we also sell bags of Microclover . You can Slice Seed this mixture of grass into your existing lawn where you have thinner patches.

What Can I Do About Thistle?

You can stay diligent with removing the weed, by plucking it as you see it. Weed Out, a weed pulling tool, is very helpful for this. You might even try filling the hole left behind with Burnout, an organic weed and grass killer, to try to kill the root a little more effectively. Adding 1-2 additional Natural Weed Buster applications each season can also help provide extra Thistle suppression, without chemicals. If this weed really bothers you, a spot chemical weed control spray in the Fall or Spring will work best.

What Kind of Birdseed Won’t Make Grass Grow?

Watching the antics of birds hopping on feeders and battling over seed is one of the many reasons to feed wild birds. Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong seed or don’t follow good feeding habits, you can end up with a mess of weeds around your feeders. Birds know what they like and will pick through seed mixes to find what they want, leaving the discarded seeds to sprout. Choosing the right seed can keep your garden tidy as you continue to feed your avian visitors.

No Waste Mixes

Most wild bird mixes found in stores that don’t specialize in birdseed contain an abundance of milo and millet. While some birds such as juncos and sparrows love millet, many other species will pick through, trying to get to other items in the mix. Few birds eat milo. As the birds pick through the mix, millet and milo fall to the ground and will eventually sprout into grass-like weeds. To avoid this, visit a store that specializes in wild bird food and choose a mix specially designed for what the birds in your area prefer. The food may cost more, but much less will make its way to the ground to become a weed.

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Sunflower Chips

Sunflower chips are hulled sunflower seeds that are chopped into pieces. With the kernel hulled and chopped, the seed won’t sprout. Sunflower chips make an excellent feeder choice because they are one of the top seed choices by a variety of birds including jays, woodpeckers, finches, grosbeaks and chickadees.

Cracked Corn

Cracked corn consists of dried corn that is split into pieces. Unlike whole kernels of corn, the pieces of cracked corn can no longer sprout. Jays, doves, quail, sparrows and even ducks are attracted to feeders that contain cracked corn.

Nyjer Thistle

Although it sounds like a weed, nyjer thistle is not the standard thistle with the purple bloom that gardeners try to keep out of their yards. Nyjer thistle is a small black seed favored by birds such as finches, juncos and pine siskins. Quality nyjer thistle is typically heated so it won’t sprout. If a few plants do sprout, they rarely grow to a mature plant in North America.

Feeding Tips

Feeding your birds wisely helps reduce seed waste and therefore helps control any likelihood of grass or other weeds growing under your feeders. Using a bird feeder with a seed-catching tray underneath helps catch any discarded seed before it hits the ground. Providing one type of seed in each feeder will keep birds from picking through mixes to find the type of seed they like. In addition to seed, set out fruit, suet and hummingbird feeders to attract a wide array of wild birds.

Can Birdseed Start Weeds in Your Yard?

Many of the plants that grow from birdseed can be classified as weeds. In fact, Oregon State University warns that birdseed is known for creating weed infestations. Most commercial seed mixes contain only a small percentage of seed that birds find desirable, with the rest being filler seed species, such as red millet and sorghum, that end up on the ground and grow into weeds.

It is easy to identify plants from birdseed by their seedy heads, which self-sow prolifically if left to grow. Fortunately, there are several strategies to prevent the mess while still attracting seasonal and year-round birds to the garden.

Birdseed can start a variety of different weeds in the garden, so it is best to use a low-mess or no-waste birdseed.

Use No-Waste Birdseed

One of the most straightforward solutions for curbing weed growth from birdseed is to purchase no-waste birdseed. Birdseed makes a weedy mess when it is scattered on the ground in part because the seed is minimally processed and still able to germinate. No-waste birdseed comes pre-hulled so that it can’t germinate if it lands on the ground. Sometimes called ‘low-waste’ or ‘mess-free’ birdseed, this variety is more expensive than many other birdseed blends, but it will prevent weeds while keeping wild birds fed.

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Another option is creating a homemade blend of birdseed that contains only the seed types that are most desirable to birds, which will help ensure that the birds eat them all rather than scattering them on the ground. The University of New Hampshire Extension recommends creating a birdseed mix with 50 percent sunflower seeds, 35 percent proso white millet and 15 percent cracked corn. This mix will attract a variety of birds to a feeder, particularly if you locate the seed in different feeders around the garden.

Choose the Right Feeder

Choosing the right feeder can help eliminate the seed waste that causes weed infestation by providing a more efficient feeding experience catered to the species of bird. Different types of birds respond to different types of feeders. Tube feeders will attract small birds that like to hang upside down while foraging, such as chickadees and goldfinches, while hopper-style feeders work best for larger birds, such as grosbeaks and cardinals, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Platform feeders work well for a variety of birds depending on whether they are hung high in a tree or placed near the ground.

Positioning a bird feeder wisely will also help prevent a weedy birdseed mess. Oregon State University recommends positioning a tray beneath the bird feeder to catch any spillage. Placing the feeder over a concrete patio or driveway where seeds can’t germinate also helps prevent a weed infestation. Be sure to sweep up any seeds that do spill on the ground immediately after you notice them.

Create Bird-Friendly Landscaping

A well-stocked bird feeder is one way of attracting birds to the garden, but a more sustainable and less messy alternative is to plant landscaping that provides habitat and food for birds instead. The University of Missouri Extension recommends studying the habitat needs of the types of birds you hope to attract. For instance, birds such as the goldfinch prefer to eat and linger in shrubby landscapes, while meadowlarks prefer open, meadowlike spaces. American robins like tall trees and open fields, so the typical yard with a shade tree will appeal to them.

The right environment will attract birds, but planting flowers, shrubs and trees that provide a source of food will encourage them to linger. Cornflowers (Echinacea purpurea, zones 3a-8a) will provide food with their seed heads during the winter months, as will the ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), which grows perennially within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3a to 9a, according to the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. Trees such as the persimmon (Diospyros virginiana, zones 4a-9a) and coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, zones 2-7) both provide food for birds in winter with their fruit and nuts.

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